The Buy Pile: Love in Astro City & A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #16


Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the "read" pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get his thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...


Star Wars Doctor Aphra #16 (Marvel Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. There is a lot to love about the latest adventure of the not-so-good doctor. She is at the head of a team of largely random space weirdos trying to steal old data files from before the Republic. Unfortunately, the Empire -- in the form of an austere commander who has the hots for our title character -- is hot on their heels. Toss in some random mishaps, a simply elegant bit of pre-fratbro Amadeus Cho-styled plot misdirection (or Uriel if you like the new Lucifer show) and you have a book with laughs, shocks and fascination. This work from Kieron Gillen, Si Spurrier, Emilio Laiso, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna may skimp on some of the cannon fodder, but they've got it where it counts. This was quite a fun read.

Astro City #50 (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Astro City #50
A sequel to "The Nearness Of You," Astro City #50 steps up and shines.

Jump from the Read Pile. From taken-too-soon television shows to cinematic takes on Dwayne McDuffie's genius, there has been an interesting amount of discussion in comics of the immediate aftermath of superhero battles, but this issue digs deeper, looking at the effects years down the road. A man named Mike lost the love of his life as collateral damage from conflicts between super powered people and turned his loss into a support group called Miranda's Friends. With meetings all day throughout weekdays, Mike offers an ear to people in similar situations and this issue shows the varying degrees of how people struggle with that from the whimsical to the tragic. Writer Kurt Busiek wonderfully depicts even the most peripheral of characters, imbuing them with humanity and depth. This work by Busiek and the visual team of Brent Anderson, John Roshell, Sarah Jacobs and Peter Pantazis is a sequel to the Eisner-nominated "The Nearness of You," and goes after those heartstrings like they owe it money.


Thrilling and poignant in turns, those are a couple of fine, fine purchases. There was one amazing book that couldn't be reviewed, but you know how that is ...

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